Computer Software Engineering Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Computer software engineering programs are usually offered through a school's computer science or engineering department. Programs in are available at 4-year colleges and universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The practices of computer engineering are involved in many fields, such as the gaming industry, smartphone and application development as well as the aeronautics and space flight industries. Degrees in this field begin at the bachelor level, with further specialization being found in master's and doctorate programs.

Top 10 Computer Engineering Schools

The below schools offer degrees in software engineering or computer science, as both can lead to employment in computer engineering fields:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees, (2015-2016)*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $46,704, Graduate: $49,272
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $46,320, Graduate: $46,320
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $38,139, Graduate: $28,533 (Out-of-State)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctorate $41,371
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $30,214, Graduate: $31,231 (Out-of-State)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $43,476, Graduate: $42,016 (Out-of-State)
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $32,396, Graduate: $30,064 (Out-of-State)
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $45,390, Graduate: $45,390
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $49,166, Graduate: $29,581
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $34,676, Graduate: $20,762 (Out-of-State)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in computer software engineering programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Schools that offer advanced research opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels allow students to gain hands-on experience in computer software engineering.
  • Schools that offer students up-to-date computer labs and laboratory facilities dedicated to software engineering allow students to submerse themselves in the field.
  • Students should give particular attention to programs that allow them to focus on targeted areas such as real-time systems, enterprise software, operating systems, parallel computing architecture, artificial intelligence, e-commerce systems or networking.
  • Schools that are accredited by a professional association, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, assures that a program has met the high-quality standards.

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

These programs stress programming and math. Students learn to design traditional software for computers and video games, as well as real-time dedicated devices, like smart phones, and control systems for industry, aeronautics and space flight. Students are typically required to complete a senior project.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Postgraduate students tackle the more complex computing areas, such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, network security and wireless engineering. Master's programs can include a thesis or research project, which can launch students into a successful career with opportunities for advancement.

Ph.D. in Software Engineering

Doctoral students delve into engineering languages, data mining and distribution systems. They are also required to complete a research dissertation or thesis that must be presented before a faculty board. Additional program requirements may include teaching experiences and practicums. Graduates are prepared for academia and research opportunities in software engineering.

While dedicated computer engineering programs are somewhat rare, many reputable schools offer computer science degrees with coursework that prepares students for computer engineering fields. These programs can be found at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.

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